Black & White Marbled Cheesecake

July 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Cakes, cheesecake, chocolate, Dessert | 1 Comment

Tommy and I love LOVE cheesecake.  I used to hate it – a cake with cream cheese in it?!  Ew.  No thank you.  But as I got a little older I began to broaden my horizons and boy am I glad that I did.  I LOVE IT! 

I received a round springform pan for Christmas and I asked for it specifically with cheesecakes in mind.  I just now got around to actually searching out recipes and making one.  It’s not that it’s  hard exactly but the whole process is somewhat time consuming from start to finish at least in my opinion.  But boy…it is SO worth it to make one from scratch.  Oh man. 

Recipe from my lovely friend Clara’s blog:

INGREDIENTS

For the crust
1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the crust—
Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

Combine the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Add graham cracker crumb mixture into buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the cheesecake—
Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Working in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

Add 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl. Pour all of the vanilla batter into the springform pan, dollop the top of the batter with the chocolate batter and use a table knife to swirl the chocolate batter with the vanilla batter.

Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster and remove the foil. (Be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil.) Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

Pig Rating:  The Pig really had nothing but rave reviews about this one.  He likes his cheesecake plain better as opposed to having chocolate in it so I made this one kind of half and half.  Normally he tells me to take all the baked goods to work so they aren’t in the house but he made me keep some fo this at home  🙂

Mrs. Pig Rating:  As I said, absolutely worth every single minute spent baking this cheesecake.  From scratch is amazing.  I will be making this one again and again and trying different toppings, etc.

Mrs. Pig Co-Workers Rating:  This was a HUGE hit.  I think this might be their favorite thing that I’ve made yet.  Even people who normally don’t eat the sweets I bring in were all over this one.  I aim to please!  🙂

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

October 20, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in cheesecake, chocolate, Cookies, Dessert | 4 Comments

In case you haven’t noticed, I am more prone to baking and cooking this time of the year.  Something about fall gets me in the mood.  That and we are finally finished with T-ball, soccer, etc. and I have more time to do these thing.  : )  I have been trying to bake something every weekend.  I love to do it and my co-workers love me because normally I take everything into work that I bake.  We aren’t huge on sweets – we will eat one or two of something and then it’s back to our Kashi and apple slices.  But I adore trying new things.  I saw this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, one of my absolute favorite blogs, and I knew I had to try it.  My husband loves cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies so I knew he would love this one.  Before I give you our reviews…I hope you are writing this down or saving it in your favorites.  You will NEED to make this.  Okay.  On with the recipe.

Ingredients

Crust
1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9″-square baking pan.  Line pan with parchment paper (I used foil), leaving enough to extend over the sides. Lightly coat the parchment paper/foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.

Cookie Dough
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (On My Kitchen Cafe, she said the dough was a little dry so she would cut it down by 1/8th of a cup next time.  I tried cutting it down 1/8 and it was still pretty dry so I suggest cutting it down more)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

Filling
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended. Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.

Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack

For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. (Tip: put the chocolate chips into a zipper bag and heat on 50% power for a few minutes. Cut the corner off the bag and squeeze the bag to make drizzling less messy). Use a teaspoon to drizzle chocolate over top of bars. Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour. (Stick the bars in the freezer for 5 minutes to set quickly if you’re in a hurry).

Using the edges of the parchment paper/foil, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars (clean the knife after each cut) and serve.  I cut into pretty small bars – these babies are RIIICH!

Mrs. Pig Rating – SO FREAKING GOOD.  This is one of those things that I could eat until I was sick.  And I’m not even a “sweets” person.  I am making these for our Halloween party we are going to next week for sure.  This is hands down one of the best desserts I have made in a LOOONG time.

Pig Rating – The pig says, and I quote, “Put on your blog that the Pig gives these two hooves up and a really big tail wag.”  HA!  He loooved these!  He is hard to please with desserts and he adored these.  Normally when I make something he doesn’t want me to keep anything at home, but he requested to save some of these for him.  : )

Recreating my fave Cheesecake Factory salad

May 14, 2008 at 1:25 am | Posted in cheesecake, Chicken, salads | 4 Comments

One of my favorite restaurants is Cheesecake Factory.  I love the food & I adore the cheesecake.  Really.  What is better than that many choices of amazing cheesecake?!  Not much in my book! 

Unfortunately, we do not have one near us – the closest one is about 2.5 hours away.  When we go to a city that has one, we always go even if just for dessert.  We went to Indianapolis two weekends ago to visit my grandpa in the hospital and we got to Indy pretty late but we had to eat.  I of course wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory since it was only about 5 minutes from our hotel.  I knew what I would eat before I even got there.  Cheesecake of course, but I mean for dinner.  : ) (Of course, I had a huge piece of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake to take back to the hotel too…don’t let me fool you into thinking I ALWAYS eat healthy…)

Their Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad is my absolute fave.  Now, those of you who know Cheesecake Factory know that the portions are enough to feed about 3 people with just one dish.  This salad is no different.  It comes out on a plate in two huge mounds and the size is insane.  Here is the description of the salad from their menu:

Crisp Corn Tortillas Topped with Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast and Black Beans Piled High with Mixed Greens, Fresh Corn, Green Onions and Cilantro All Tossed in Our Vinaigrette and Garnished with Avocado Cream, Salsa and Sour Cream”

You want it now too right??  It’s so incredibly good.  My husband is in Japan for 10 days (ugh) and I always try new veggie dishes while he is out as I am the veggie fan, not him so much.  😛  I decided to try to recreate this dish tonight for dinner.  This was also my first time using avocados in food so I was proud of myself for branching out a bit and making this avocado cream for the topping.

There really isn’t much of a recipe per se for this salad – I just copied it off of their menu basically using all of those ingredients.  This salad was YUMMMMMY!!!!  Of course everything tastes better when you don’t fix it yourself so the Cheesecake Factory version is better, but this is still pretty darn good made at home.  I’ll definitely be making it again!!

Baked Good Exchange January – part 1

January 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Posted in cheesecake, Fun, SBGEX | 7 Comments

Saturday morning Tommy and I were working on Sheridan’s bedroom when the doorbell rang. Of course I’m thinking, “Oh crap! The house is a mess, I’m in my pj’s…etc.” You know, all of those things you think when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. : ) However, when I opened the door, there sat a box on our doorstep and I glanced at it and saw it was a cheesecake box!!! From New York!! I knew it had to be one of my awesome JFacie friends sending me something for our January exchange! Sure enough, there was a note on it from Kat Graz saying that even though she was sending this awesome New York famous cheesecake, she was baking me something as well. She is supposed to be my nutritionist/personal trainer friend! What is she thinking?! LOL : ) I took it in the house and yelled for Tommy to come see it and he literally started jumping up and down like a little kid. Cheesecake is his absolute favorite thing ever!


We had some of this finally Sunday evening – we were so busy that we didn’t have time to really enjoy it until then – and we literally had this for dinner. LOL It was SOO good! I think it’s the brownie marble cheesecake flavor – so freaking amazing! I can’t get cheesecake like this around here so the fact that Kat thought to do that makes her awesome in our book! Tommy says he really likes Kat now a lot. LOL : )

Thank you Kat for this unique and awesome foodie gift!!!! You are the best!!!

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